TITLE: God Saves
By Miriam Basye-Carter
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While reading the account of Moses and the Israelites in the book of Exodus I was struck by the similarities between this story and God’s New Testament revealed in Jesus Christ.
Curiously, I started looking at the meaning of the name Joshua (in Hebrew this comes from two words, Yhovah – The Lord, and Yasha – to save, defend, rescue…) Thus, the name Joshua means “The Lord Saves”. The name Jesus, being the Greek translation of Joshua, means the same thing, “The Lord Saves”.
This link caused me to see the story of Moses and the Israelites in a new way:
Moses as representing The Law of God or the Old Testament.
Joshua as representing Jesus Christ or the New Testament (remember that the Testament is an agreement, not just a part of the Bible).
Moses could bring the people out of the bondage of Egypt (paganism) but because of the unbelief of the people they had to wander in the wilderness instead of entering the promised land (The “Sabbath” or Rest) Even Moses, himself, did not enter the promised land.
In the same way the Law was able to free people from paganism and allow them to see the Promised Land but the Law can not bring them in.
Joshua was with them all the time. He was a student of Moses and a helper (Exodus 33:11)—he did not come to overthrow Moses or to usurp his authority but to fulfill Moses’ mission.
Jesus lived among us and was, himself, a student of the Law, just as every Jewish boy of his time. When he came of age Jesus explained the law to the Rabbis at the temple. He was no longer a student. However, Jesus, himself, said that he did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it.
Joshua went into the Promised Land and came back to report that the land was good and that the Israelites could have victory there.
Jesus died and rose from the dead to proclaim victory over sin and death. Because Jesus conquered sin, we can have victory and live our daily lives in the spiritual “Promised Land”.
The generation who didn’t believe Joshua were destined to die in the wilderness, just as the Jews who rejected Jesus died under the law.
The generation that had faith was able to follow Joshua into the Promised Land. Their enemies scattered before them.
Upon entering the Promised Land they were to completely destroy their enemies and not marry into the other tribes nor live beside them.
A Christian must completely destroy old ways of thinking, acting and responding and be made new in Christ. Not “marrying” the two lifestyles or hanging on to anything of the old.
One other interesting fact is found in the surname of Joshua Bar (son of) Nun. “Nun” is a Hebrew word meaning “perpetual” or “propagates by shoots”. Hmmm….Jesus, we know, is perpetual, continual, eternal. In Isaiah 53:2 It refers to Jesus saying that he grew up like a tender shoot out of dry ground. He had no earthly children of his own as stated in verse 8, yet it proclaims that he shall see his offspring (v. 10) Jesus is an extension of God, like a rosebush “runner” puts up a shoot and grows a new plant that is vitally connected to the main bush. In the same manner Jesus has descendants in those who give their lives to Him becoming “shoots” in a manner of speaking. Jesus has said, “I am the vine, you are the branches, without me you can do nothing”. When a rosebush grows near a stream or other water source its’ runners, though they spread out away from the water source, remain connected underground and can draw moisture from that main water source even if the ground in which they grow is dry. It is their connection to the main plant that allows them to survive in the dryer area. To me, this idea of Jesus “propagating by shoots” is a wonderful word picture of our connection with Jesus and thus to God. It reminds me of our perpetual need to be connected to Him. We are his “shoots” we will grow up to be just like Him. A rose bush cannot put up apple tree shoots and an aspen won’t put up briar shoots. If we are connected to Christ, as He is connected to the Father we will be nourished and grow up to be like Him.
I have been hearing the story of Moses and Joshua since I was knee high to a church pew, but since I made these elementary observations, this story has taken on a whole new life to me.
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